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Comment Re:we = "civilization as we know it" (Score 1) 522

Why is this the classic "Oh, don't worry" response? "It's not Earth that is doomed, just humans." Does anyone read that and go "Whew! I was worried, but now I'm not."??? Destroying the planet, versus destroying it for human habitability, is pretty much the same damn thing as far as my concerns go. If Earth becomes inhabitable to people, I'm not going to sleep better knowing the rest of nature will survive.

Comment Re: No. (Score 2) 857

Yes, I was aware of the situation in Aleppo and Syria at large... because I read the news. I can absolutely find Aleppo on a map. I'm not running for office, I know these things, and I'm sure as shit going to discount a presidential candidate for not being immediately aware of one of the more significant global current events. Not that this speaks volumes for anyone else. I doubt Trump knew much more about Syria, but fortunately for him he can just say meaningless drivel like "Whatever it is, we're going to tear it down and make something much much better" and that's good enough for his supporters.

Comment Re:If You're not rich, have a bright future! (Score 1) 367

"But the new site will just hire 3 and have a bunch of robots instead. And 994 still need to eat. This is the problem a lot of people seem to have trouble grasping."

Ok, so it sounds like there's enough manpower to support... 300 some-odd new sites! This is the reality of what happens when jobs become obsolete. Sure, if all you know if manufacturing, you personally may be in a bit of a pickle. But the world was full of people that knew nothing but taking care of livestock, or riding horses, or hunting bison, or reaping wheat, and their children's children do other things now.

Besides this mundane quibble, what would the alternative be? Stop making new stuff? Purposely promote advanced technology that doesn't make anything easier for people? The back-face of this "woe is me, my simple job is gone now" mentality is, "finally, no one has to do that boring shit anymore!"

Comment Re: Actual discovery: Mass of one such galaxy (Score 5, Informative) 105

You don't understand how we use parallax. We measure how much the object shifts 6 months apart, when we have moved 2 AU. Further distances will shift less, and the amount that an object moves that far away is too small for us to measure with current technology. Plus, it requires a backdrop of relatively much-more-distant objects to actually measure the shift (they too move, but so much less so that it's close enough for a good estimate). The other galaxies out there that would be the backdrop are not orders of magnitude further away necessarily, making the measurement even more difficult.

So yes, in this context a milli arc-second does indeed correspond to a fixed distance. The Earth is what moves to make the parallax, and that is a fixed distance. The distance to the object is not required to know what the angular measurement means; rather, the angular measurement given our displacement on Earth is precisely what we use to determine the distance to the object. You're thinking of it backwards.

Comment Re: Taxes and laws in 3,2,1... (Score 1) 117

In this case, I think I would classify getting in an aircraft and flying past birds far, far more quickly than anything else they have to dodge in the sky as the "human error" which causes birds to hit aircraft. So... let's just not fly drones near actual aircraft. Birds not hitting each other (hunting aside) works well enough, why not drones not hitting each other?

Comment What a pointless article! (Score 1) 330

Was this slashdot submission just a glorified "hey let's talk about space again!" attempt?

If we violated known physics we could do foo. If we could teleport we could do bar. If we could travel FTL we could do baz.

Well if I farted gold dust I could be rich. Next let's get a slashdot post about what we could do with a BAJILLION GAZILLION dollars, world piece, and flying puppies.

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Another megabytes the dust.